RINGO STARR- 2012
Jazz legend Charlie Haden, Van Dyke Parks, Benmont Tench, and Ringo's brother-in-law Joe Walsh all help Richie out on his 17th solo release. What can I say? It's what you think it sounds like, love it or leave it. He's a Beatle and I'm happy he's still making music, even if it isn't very good. And "Ringo 2012" isn't.
SOUL REBELS- UNLOCK YOUR MIND
The Soul Rebels were one of the very first bands I saw live on my very first trip to the New Orleans' Jazz Fest. That may have something to do with why I love them so much. It was one of those "only in New Orleans" experiences.
I had been watching and enjoying the band when their roadie/manager, a gentleman no less frail than Gorilla Monsoon, thought I should be dancing a little bit more than my self-conscious head bob, so he picked me in a painful bear hug and started dancing, holding me in his arms like Cheetah. He finally let go and dropped me to the ground when my face turned the color of a Satsuma plum. The crowd roared and everyone continued moving and smiling for the remaining 30 minutes of their set.
Without that in your pocket, you might just hear another funky brass band, whooping it up New Orleans style...which is still all right by me. This is a really fine record. One of the Rebels best, with help from Trombone Shorty, Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentelli and Galactic's Ben Ellman.
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And Lana Del Rey's "thing" has also been released. The only thing positive about this is the title.
Back in July, ACE UK released Lesley Gore's "Magic Colors." This was a record planned for release in 1967, but then canceled when the first single and title cut flopped. Newly remastered and bolstered with other singles from the era, "Magic Colors" shows Gore growing up a bit, and abandoning her teenage party-crying pop for the sunshine pop sound, more reminiscent of The Association and Harpers Bizarre.
Not everything works, and it makes sense that Mercury Records didn't want to let it out, but there are some interesting moments, especially the covers which include a medley of Spanky & Our Gang's "Lazy Day" and one hit wonder Keith's "98.6." There is also a version of "To Sir With Love," which Gore delivers a bit like Barbra Streisand...it doesn't work...and what Mojo mag calls "arguably the definitive version of How Can I Be Sure." You be the judge on that one. I'll take The Rascals.
And speaking of "definitive," here's one of my fave things ever, Lesley Gore on The TAMI Show.